Grams has given a lot of thought to writing something to commemorate the ninth anniversary of September 11, 2001. I'm certain that there are those who will not agree with my point of view. Please feel free to disagree ... after all this is America.
The repercussions of those senseless acts of violence continue to reverberate around the world. When the planes crashed and the towers came down, for the first time in many years, America united. We were grieving and angry, but we were united. We flew our flags, sang patriotic songs, and said "God Bless America" while we vowed to "never forget."
We were angry and we hated the people who committed these atrocities. But nine years later the long-lasting effect of these acts of terrorism is an unhealthy atmosphere of bitterness and hatred towards people who are different from us, the vast majority of whom had nothing to do with September 11. As a result, hatred is accepted and nastiness has become pervasive and accepted in our society.
So pause today and remember those who lost their lives while doing nothing more than most of us do every day. Remember where you were and what you were doing that day. Weep for those who lost loved ones and those whose lives will never be the same. Fly your flag and remember how neighbors were brought together in the wake of September 11. Remember how you wanted to gather your family around and hold them close, how you had to call your kids or your parents just to say you were okay and to see if they were. Then think about how senseless it all was and how all the hatred won't change it or bring one person back.
Yes, we must be vigilant, we must be prepared, we must never be blindsided and surprised like that again. But hate changes us and our society into something dark and ugly.
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."